The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Monday, officially postponed the 2020 men's T20 World Cup due to the global pandemic. The new schedule sees the tournament now beginning from October 18 to November 15 next year.
“The International Cricket Council today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic,” the ICC said in a statement.
Subsequently, the T20 World Cup 2021 has also been pushed back to October – November 2022, and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India between October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023.
"We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport," said ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney.
"The decision to postpone the ICC Men's T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world."
The ICC has churned out three windows for the tournaments, which is as follows:
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021
- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023
The uncertainty, however, remains regarding the order with which India and Australia will host the T20 World Cups. The original scheduled had India hosting the 2021 edition, but Australia wants to host the postponed event next year.
The postponement of the T20 World Cup is now expected to clear the deck for this year's Indian T20 League, which is likely to be played in the UAE. The competition committee had previously mentioned that they are waiting for the ICC to make an official announcement on the T20 World Cup, and now that it's done, the tournament is expected to kick-start from September 26 until November 7.
The BCCI was keen on hosting the tournament in India behind closed doors and in a selected few venues, but as the situation regarding the global pandemic gets worse, the UAE has been marked as a possible destination. And while the list of fixtures is yet to be announced, the teams have already started preparations on a personal front; right from hiring the charted planes for the travel to booking hotels for the accommodations.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Jewel Samad